Woman alleges 500 Startups venture partner groped her in Taipei


In the photograph, five hundred Startups undertaking lover Tristan Pollock seems to be keeping Catherine Shu by the hand, pulling her together behind him down a sidewalk.

The hand-keeping, allegedly unwelcome to Shu, preceded an incident that still left Shu, a TechCrunch author based mostly in Taipei, Taiwan, struggling from signs very similar to post-traumatic anxiety dysfunction, Shu wrote in a July 20 short article that contained the photograph.

A request despatched to five hundred Startups, which is headquartered in Mountain Perspective, for a response by Pollock to the claimed incident did not obtain an quick response. The business is a prominent startup accelerator and undertaking funds firm whose web site residence web site invitations viewers to “Meet our badass, worldwide spouse and children of startup founders, mentors, and traders.”

Shu’s allegation comes in the wake of the highly publicized resignation of five hundred Startups founder Dave McClure, a self-explained “creep” accused of hitting on a girl while she was implementing for a position at his firm. And her declare lands as Silicon Valley grapples with allegations of common sexual harassment and sexual assault in the tech business.

Shu, producing in TechCrunch, explained a 2015 night time out in Taipei, soon after she and a buddy met Pollock and two other men outside a startup hub where by Shu’s buddy worked.

Pollock said he needed to go to a bar, Shu wrote.

“I was having ready to depart since my husband had just termed to enable me know he was performed with work, but my buddy questioned me to be part of them, so I informed her I’d keep for a consume,” she wrote.

While walking to a bar, Pollock talked about he wasn’t acquiring significantly luck on Tinder in Taiwan, Shu wrote.

“My buddy informed Pollock I’m not readily available since I’m married. Then she added that I like white adult men, since my husband is white. I was dismayed to hear her explain my partnership like that, specially since it seemed to intensify Pollock’s interest in me,” she wrote.

“He set his arm close to my shoulders and whispered ‘Can’t you fake you are one?’ in my ear. I shrugged him off.”

Not prolonged soon after, Pollock grabbed her hand and questioned her once more if she could fake she was one.

“His conduct was escalating rapidly and I was frightened. I experimented with to pull away regularly. I splayed my fingers and twisted my hand, but he held on. I appeared for the other two adult men in our group, but they were also far forward,” she wrote.

Her buddy snapped a photograph, which seems to clearly show Pollock keeping Shu’s hand as if pulling her together. When he and Shu had to cross a avenue, he dropped her hand, Shu wrote.

“I saw a taxi queue a block away and informed my buddy that it was late and I necessary to go residence,” she wrote.

“She walked up to me and playfully tugged at my arm, inquiring me to keep. Pollock arrived up to my other aspect and grabbed my other hand, once more.

“He slid his hand down where by my buddy couldn’t see and grabbed my butt, as if to pull me in toward him.”

Shu backed away, got into a cab and fled, she wrote.

Her editor contacted five hundred Startups to report the incident, and the firm’s HR manager emailed Shu inquiring for her account of the alleged incident, Shu wrote.

“I despatched it to her. Afterward, I was informed that five hundred Startups carried out its very own investigation and interior response,” she wrote.

“I was puzzled that he wasn’t fired soon after groping me and I wish I had questioned why, but I felt confused. I had covered quite a few five hundred Startup investments ahead of in my time as a contributor at TechCrunch and listened to founders communicate effectively of McClure, so I made the decision to take it on religion that he and his colleagues would manage Pollock correctly.”

Pollock’s conduct still left her with “PTSD-like signs,” Shu wrote, referring to post-traumatic anxiety dysfunction.

“I was presently encountering intrusive ideas. They began a several months soon after my face with Pollock, when the original shock had worn off, and would carry on for about a 12 months,” she wrote.

“During my pregnancy, I identified my prenatal examinations stressful, since I did not want to be touched by nurses or my doctor. I startled very easily when folks approached me, even if it was my husband and I hadn’t witnessed him to start with, specially at night time.

“Once I was rocking my new child in a swaddle, seeking to soothe her, and I began crying since I felt that I was keeping her against her will and it introduced again undesirable feelings even while it was the only way to get her to rest.”

Shu wrote that she isolated herself, declining invitations for tech activities and conferences.

“During my maternity depart, I viewed as leaving tech reporting since I did not know how I could do my position effectively if I was also anxious to network with likely resources. I was afraid and have been for almost two many years.”

The bearded, bespectacled Pollock, who created the Forbes magazine “30 Beneath 30” list of soaring business owners in 2015 and statements as his personalized motto Facebook’s “move rapidly and split factors,” remains a undertaking lover and entrepreneur-in-residence at five hundred Startups.

In a response to TechCrunch relating to Shu’s allegations, five hundred Startups said it investigated them as quickly as they discovered about them almost two many years in the past.

“We spoke to her, Mr. Pollock, and quite a few other witnesses,” the firm said, according to TechCrunch.

“Although the numerous accounts were inconsistent and the investigation was inconclusive, we took interior motion that we felt was responsive and reparative, and we communicated that motion to TechCrunch’s Editor-in-Main, Matthew Panzarino.

“Mr. Panzarino mentioned in a subsequent text concept that Ms. Shu was ‘satisfied’ by our interior steps introducing that ‘At this stage I feel we can shut the guides on this just one … Thanks for taking the time and dealing with it severely.’”


Image: Tristan Pollock’s LinkedIn web site (LinkedIn screenshot)


Tags: five hundred startups, Catherine Shu, groped, sexual harassment, techcrunch, Tristan Pollock